The fall season has arrived bringing cooler temperatures and a shift to increased indoor activity. Provincial and Federal leadership are now heightening the warning of a foreseeable second wave of COVID-19 as cases continue to surge here in Simcoe Muskoka.
The Town of Gravenhurst continues to support and promote the direction of the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) in the effort to flatten the curve and reduce the spread of COVID-19 by limiting social circles, wearing a mask or face covering indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces, physical distancing and regular good hand hygiene. The SMDHU has also emphasized the importance of getting your seasonal influenza vaccination this year once vaccines are available.
Beginning on Monday September 28th, limited public access to Town Office will resume and by appointment only. This activity will be limited to issuing marriage licenses, commissioning of oaths and affidavits. The public is asked to call in advance to schedule an appointment at 705-687-3412 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Screening protocols will be in place for all scheduled appointments and face masks must be worn when in the facility all times.
With more of our typical activities being limited by COVID-19, the Town’s Recreational Services Division is helping to bring out the community’s creativity through a series of virtual programs. The public can learn more and register at www.gravenhurst.ca/virtualrecreation. Discussions are ongoing with the Gravenhurst YMCA for the possible reopening of the gym and pool.
At the Special Council meeting on Thursday, September 17, Council amended the Procedural By-law to permit deputations from members of the public during electronic meetings. Members of the public who had recently submitted deputation request forms have been notified with several selecting to virtually attend a future electronic meeting. If you would like to present a deputation to Council, please visit www.gravenhurst.ca/deputation. The next regular Council and Committee of the Whole meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 20.
This week, the Province announced increased access to COVID-19 testing through select pharmacies for asymptomatic individuals. This list includes one pharmacy in Muskoka, Shoppers Drug Mart in Huntsville which begins testing today. Alternatively, Gravenhurst residents can access the COVID-19 Assessment Centre at South Memorial Hospital in Bracebridge – (by appointment only) or visit the Huntsville Active Living Centre every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, (no appointment necessary). Visit the Town’s Assessment Resource page for more details. Mayor Kelly has been exploring the possibility of Gravenhurst getting an assessment centre with Provincial officials.
For the latest information, and updates related to the COVID-19 Pandemic and local response, please visit www.gravenhurst.ca/covid19.